Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Horse-Trading

The analysis of the results of the recent federal election in Germany shows that Chancellor Angela Merkel did everything right. During her campaign she remained vague and promised only little. In addition she had taken the wind out of the red and green sails over the past years. In promoting the phase out of nuclear power she forced the Greens to look for a new profile they eventually found in the social and financial field where they failed. She reduced the Social Democrats being in agreement with her handling of the euro crisis to a sideshow with topics like higher minimum wages and lower rents for housing. In embracing all main streams of German politics Mom Merkel now has the "best image of chancellor" since 1990 but no majority in parliament (Bundestag).

Losses and gains in the 2013 election. The decline of the Liberals was caused by losing more than 2.2 million votes to the Christian Democrats (for printing reasons here
presented in light blue instead of their traditional black), more than 500,000 to the
Social Democrats, but above all 430,000 to the recently formed populist
anti-euro party AfD (Action for Germany). Another important contribution of votes
for the AfD came from Die Linke until now considered as the country's protest party.
It looks like the "tea drinking" AfD will rather become the collecting tank
 for Germany's protest voters (©FAZ).
Excluding a Red-Green-Amber coalition with a majority of 5 votes that would shunt Mom there remain four other possibilities of deblocking the situation: coalitions of Black-Red and Black-Green, a minority government, or new federal elections. Fearing Mom's deadly kiss both Greens and Reds hesitate to share the bed with her but hesitating too long may imply new elections. Recent polls show that in such a case Mom's CDU will gain even more votes, the SPD will remain stable, the Greens will lose further but what is more important is that the anti-euro party AfD (Action for Germany) will get more than 5% of the votes and be presented in the Bundestag. Looking at the shift of the voters in the recent election suggests that Die Linke will further suffer in a new election from a drain towards the AfD. However, building stable majorities with five instead of four parties in the German Bundestag will become even more difficult, so all parties presently presented fear new election as the devil fears holy water. In the meantime the round of poker between Black, Red, and Green for forming a coalition government has started and will hopefully enter into horse-trading between two parties about the number of ministers in Mom's government.

Come on out! Think about your civic duty!! (©Stuttmann, BZ)
Why not try a Merkel minority government? Without a majority in the Bundestag and with the Bundesrat (Germany's Senate) dominated by Red-Green Mom would not even have her budget passed. Sounds familiar?

The other day Freiburg's Green Lord Mayor Dr. Dieter Salomon (right) congratulated his Financial Mayor and Christian Democrat Otto Neideck (left) for 20 years of loyal work
for the city with 12 years in a Green-Black constellation. A model for Berlin? (©BZ)

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